The playoff beard has deep roots in hockey. It grew organically out of the superstitions of a handful of players from the New York Islanders’ Stanley Cup-winning teams of the early 1980s, becoming a popular tradition across hockey and other sports.
The problem with playoff beards is, well, they’re kind of sexist. Which is to say, millions of women hockey fans can’t participate in the ritual even when their favourite team is making a charge for the cherished chalice, as is the case in Edmonton and Toronto (pauses while waiting for mocking laughter from across the country to subside).
But hair removal brand Nair has come up with a way for women hockey fans to play along: hairy legs
The new #NairPlayOffLegs campaign by Forsman & Bodenfors for the Church & Dwight hair removal brand encourages women to show their support for their team by not waxing their legs during the playoff run.
The campaign launched last week on social (including paid Instagram), along with a partnership with Daily Hive and BlogTo.
“Knowing that body hair is a personal journey, and choice, for Canadians, we’ve pushed ourselves to embrace that as part of our brand DNA,” she said. “In recent years, Nair’s messaging has shifted to focus less on the act of hair removal and instead empowering people to look and feel their best whichever they choose.
“Of course, if they want to remove their #NairPlayOffLegs post-season, we’ll be here,” she said.
Forsman & Bodernfors was looking for ways Nair could connect with the fans of teams that made it into the second round of the playoffs, said Darby Clarke, creative lead at Forsman & Bodenfors. “After doing some social listening, we noticed that our target (women) was really getting into hockey fandom and participating in conversations about the playoffs and even generating content of their own.”
But while playoff beards have become a tradition of that fandom, the team realized that while facial hair likely excludes most women, leg hair does not.
“We wanted to take a step back from selling product and join in with our followers to support the teams they (and we) all root for by creating a new tradition that everyone can get behind,” said Ho. “Even if it means taking a break from using Nair until we bring the Cup home.”